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Information & Support

Understand the symptoms, signs and what to look out for with male breast cancer

Male Breast Cancer Symptoms

Symptoms of breast cancer for men are no different than they are for women.  What is different is men need to be aware they can be diagnosed with breast cancer and know any symptoms need to be checked.

  • Mass located under the nipple

  • Inverted or retraction of nipple

  • Nipple discharge- may be bloody or clear

  • Skin dimpling or puckering

  • Redness or scaling of the nipple

Other symptoms may include a lump or swelling under the arm in the lymph node area and the collarbone.  A common cause and diagnosis for men with these symptoms can be gynecomastia, which is an enlargement of breast tissue and is not related to cancer. 

Often, men delay going to their healthcare professional early, but earlier detection of breast cancer can make the difference in saving a life. 

Conduct a self breast exam

Male breast cancer typically presents with symptoms that are similar to those experienced by women with breast cancer. The key symptoms to be aware of include:

  • Lump or Mass: The most common symptom of male breast cancer is the presence of a painless lump or mass in the breast tissue.  This lump is often located beneath the nipple or areola and can be felt upon self-examination. 

  • Nipple Changes: Changes in the nipple, such as retraction (turning inward), scaling, redness or ulceration, may also be signs of male breast cancer.  Nipple discharge, which may be bloody or clear, are concerning symptoms.

  • Breast Pain: Some men may experience breast pain or tenderness, although this is less common and often not as pronounced as in women. 

  • Swelling: Swelling or enlargement of one breast compared to the other may occur in some cases. 

  • Skin Changes: Changes in the skin over the breast area, such as dimpling or puckering, can be indicative of breast cancer.

It’s essential to emphasize that these symptoms are exclusive to male breast cancer and can also be caused by benign conditions.  However, if any of these symptoms persist or appear unusual, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation.

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